To the common person, the term natural law may not hold much significance or may register in their mind as a type of law that is of the earth or based on nature. While this may seem like the right definition, it is not the case. The idea of Natural law is one which has a very broad range of application and is generally misapplied when the term is incorporated in the topics of science, philosophy, history, theology, and law.
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According to allaboutphilosophy.org, Natural Law is a moral theory of jurisprudence, which maintains that law should be based on whatr’s correct. (1) Furthermore, they state that Natural Law is discovered by humans through the use of reason and choosing between good and evil. (1) Because of this, Natural Law is seen as a consistent method of reason which can be held universally in its standards of morality and ethics.
A commonly debated topic which is rooted in morality is that of assisted suicide and whether the actions taken by the one committing suicide and the one helping are moral or not. Assisted suicide and euthanasia are topics which have been looked at in the United States as uncommon practice for much of the early 1900s until the mid-70s and 80s, which is when the idea began to gain pubic attention and traction within the Supreme Court. The general idea in question when it comes to assisted suicide, is whether it is moral for a person to decide that they are ready to die and for someone to help them accomplish that desire. While over the years, the general view has been that suicide and assisted suicide is wrong and by all costs should be avoided. By looking at assisted suicide through the lens of Natural Law, I believe that assisted suicide could be allowed to let people could choose their own death. The only problem with this idea is that Natural Law is a body of unchanging moral principles which is regarded as the basis for how all humanity conducts themselves. This means that everyone would have the opportunity to choose assisted suicide if they so desired. Professor Robert George recognizes the Natural Law as central to the Western tradition of thought and morality, politics and law. (2) Furthermore, Americar’s founding fathers sought to create institutions and procedures that enshrined those basic, natural rights that people possess, not as privileges or opportunities granted by the state, but as principles of Natural Law which it is the moral duty of the state to respect and protect. (3) Through this, people may believe that they have the right to act in whatever way they see necessary, which can be defended by saying that it is within the Natural Law for them to act in this manner.
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